Emilie | Denmark

EVS volunteer experience Organisation: OKO  Project name: EYE  7 months | 2015 – 2016
A h o j !

My name is Emilie and I was an OKO volunteer in Rychnov nad Kněžnou in 2015/2016 – an experience I will never forget.

My EVS had a very sudden beginning. Only two weeks after my first contact with OKO I was sitting in a train towards Častolovice where I was welcomed by Jitka and where I would spend the next seven months of my life.

I have been volunteering for the intercultural exchange organization AFS Interculture since 2010, so becoming an EVS volunteer was for me a chance to explore new sides of voluntary work and to get to know and live in another culture.

This I definitely got to do while living in Rychnov. I got to know a lot of new people, learned a lot about Czech culture and last but at not least I learned to speak Czech. Through long walks in the forests, inspiring hours doing workshops with kids from the local schools, meet ups with a lot of amazing people, travels around the country and some volunteering with AFS Czech Republic, the EVS and OKO gave me an opportunity to know a country that I probably wouldn’t ever have gotten to know in the same way.

That is exactly what the EVS can do for you. Teach you about other cultures, how people can be different in many ways but still all be people, give you social and work-related competences that you could only dream of and most importantly, give you the time of your life.

One and a half year has now almost passed since I left my life in Rychnov and to some degree it has never really left me. I now study Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen, where especially my knowledge of Czech has helped me understand more about Slavic languages. I’m still in contact with many of the wonderful people I met during my EVS, and I’m still amazed by how even though that there isn’t that long from Copenhagen to Rychnov, the distance between the two cultures can still be big.